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Friday, November 06, 2009

Who is your customer, complementer, competitor and supplier?

Repeatedly in my interactions as innovation co-crafter (thats what I do for a living anyway), with various businesses across domains - it has not been easy for people to answer a very simple question

WHO IS YOUR CUSTOMER?

Repeatedly I have found very successful and not so successful businessmen stumped with this question.


Here are my definitions - please apply to your domains and see how whether they help you to get a clear picture of your business.

1. Customer - anyone who uses your product/service to perform a function. Not necessarily who pays you. I am Google's customer, but I don’t pay Google.


2. Complementer - anyone whose product or service added to your service/product helps perform more/better functions for your customers


3. Supplier - anyone who provides you ingredients to make your product/service


4. Competitor - anyone who helps your customer to perform same function that your service/product helps the customer to perform.


In a dynamic value net (which is the most realistic scenario) - there are fuzzy boundaries between CCCS (Cust/Comple/Competi/Supplier).


Please explore your value net to find out what lays hidden in these boundaries and may be therein lies the secrets of your NEXT INNOVATION!



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